From U.S. figure skating, no explanation of how it could abrogate world meet selection rules

From U.S. figure skating, no explanation of how it could abrogate world meet selection rules

When the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships begin Friday in Mississauga, Ont., one of the two U.S. teams that should be competing will be sitting at home.

Why?  Because U.S. Figure Skating came up with some kind of justification, which it has not revealed, for abrogating its own rules.  Those rules may have been poorly written, but they left no doubt about one of the teams that belongs at the junior worlds, as I first pointed out in a story posted Feb. 17.

The rules say that in the case of both senior and junior synchro world championship selections, the teams “must include the current U.S. champion.”  (The emphasis is mine.)

The team left out, the Chicago Jazz, was the current U.S. champion when the selections were made.

Based on that, the Jazz filed a grievance with USFS.

I learned last week the grievance was denied and, since then, I have been trying without success via multiple emails to get an official USFS response about the situation.

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When playing by the rules apparently doesn't apply to figure skating officials, a team gets shut out of a world meet

When playing by the rules apparently doesn't apply to figure skating officials, a team gets shut out of a world meet

Some may wonder why I have spent several days this week in reporting and writing this story about a junior team in a non-Olympic discipline of figure skating.

The answer:  rules are rules, but international and national governing bodies in many Olympic sports have a tendency to stretch them, even as they spout commitment to Olympic ideals.  (Yes, stretch is a euphemism).  And these cases usually get little outside scrutiny.

That’s the background.  Here’s the story:

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A suburban Chicago synchronized skating team has been deprived of a spot at the World Junior Championships because a U.S. Figure Skating selection committee apparently both did not follow its own rules and then gave an ex-post facto justification for the selection decision.

The rules in force leave little doubt that the Chicago Jazz should have been given a place at the 2017 World Junior Championships March 10-11 in Mississauga, Ont.

The Jazz, based in Glenview, Ill., has filed a grievance with the USFS under the governing body’s provisions for such complaints.

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